Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 4 November, 2007


"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the

whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them

whose heart is perfect toward him" (II Chron. 16:9)



Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Gideon, Mighty Man of Valour (9)

A Most "Unorthodox" Battle

Judges 7:16-22

I. The Attack of the Israelites

II. The Rout of the Midianites

III. The Offence of the Cross

Psalms: 150:1-6; 105:28-37; 83:1-10; 22:6-13

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Christ’s Burial

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 16; John 19:38-42

I. The Events

II. The Humiliation

III. The Glory

Psalms: 66:1-7; 105:38-45; 34:16-22; 16:6-11


For audio cassettes of the worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean Courtney (

CPRC website:

Quotes to Consider:

Prof. David J. Engelsma on Gideon’s battle with the Midianites: "The history of Judge Gideon gives striking evidence of the wrath of God’s working in his providential government of all things to destroy the enemies of his covenant ... The true church, battling mighty foes in the face of overwhelming odds, must not fear. God calls her to her warfare. He equips her with the wisdom and power of the Spirit of Christ. But he also governs her foes. This government extends to their thoughts and emotions. In his own time, he will bring these foes to defeat and ruin" (Unfolding Covenant History, vol. 5, p. 78).

Announcements (subject to God’s will):

The second offering taken this morning will be for our building fund.

Prof. & Mrs. Hanko arrive on Friday, 16 November. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table for those who would like to have them over for dinner.

The Council’s monthly meeting is tomorrow night, 7:30 PM at the manse.

Catechism classes: Monday, 5:00 PM at the Murrays Monday, 6:30 PM with the Campbells at the manse Thursday, 7:00 PM at the Hamills

Membership Class: Tuesday, 8:30 PM, at the Hallidays.

Midweek Bible Study on Wednesday at 7:45 PM at the manse will continue with II Timothy 2:2 on theological training of ministers.

This Friday, Rev. Stewart will give the lecture "Lessons from the Reformation for Today," in Limerick at 7:30 PM. Please remember this witness in your prayers.

Offerings: General Fund - £1,236.63. Donations: £100 (Building Fund), £7 (tapes), £15 (pamphlets), £10 (C. R. News), £90 (lecture).

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "Wives, Be Subject to Your Own Husband" (Eph. 5:22-24).

Women’s Bible Study meets next week Tuesday, 13 Nov., 10:30 AM at the Murrays.

The PRC church visitors, Rev. Daniel Kleyn and Elder Jim Holstege, plan to arrive on 11 January, 2008. Sharon Kleyn plans to come as well. Please reserve Friday, 18 January, for our congregational dinner.

Website Additions: 1 Ukrainian ("What About the Alpha Course?" by Rev. Ron Hanko) and 3 Portuguese translations were added to the website.

PRC News: Calvary PRC (Hull, IA) called Rev. R. Kleyn (Trinity, MI).

Considering the North Star (I)

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies:
for they are ever with me. Psalm 119:98

Though only the 49th brightest star in the night sky, the North Star is one of the most famous. Because it is so near to the sky’s north pole, it has been very useful for travelers on land and navigators at sea. Using the stars at the end of the Big Dipper’s bowl to find the North Star is one of the first things we teach our children about the heavens.

Just as a toy top will wobble on its axis while spinning, the earth also wobbles on its axis. As the earth does so, the north pole traces a circle on the dome of the heavens. Scientists estimate it would take the earth’s pole 25,800 years to complete the circle. This means that what we know as the North Star was not always the Pole Star. Four thousand six hundred years ago when the pyramids were being built in Egypt, a different star was the Pole Star. However, Polaris is now so close to the celestial pole that it is a more accurate guide to true north than a compass because the earth’s magnetic pole is not located at earth’s north pole, and the magnetic pole also changes position.

The North Star’s nearly unmoving position makes it a faithful guide. This feature of Polaris was celebrated by the poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) in the last two stanzas of his poem "Hymn to the North Star."

On thy unfaltering blaze
The half-wrecked mariner, his compass lost,
Fixes his steady gaze,
And steers, undoubting, to the friendly coast;
And they who stray in perilous wastes, by night,
Are glad when thou dost shine to guide their footsteps right.
And, therefore, bards of old,
Sages, and hermits of the solemn wood,
Did in thy beams behold
A beauteous type of that unchanging good,
That bright eternal beacon, by whose ray
The voyager of time should shape his heedful way.

Just as land travelers and mariners of days gone by, we and our children have a great need for guidance for we are pilgrims in a strange land and sail stormy spiritual seas. The world is a wicked place. I remember back in the 1960s when my great-grandmother said to my father that she thought how hard it would be to raise children in such godless times. The last four decades have not improved society’s spiritual landscape or made godly parents’ task any easier. All one needs to do is read the reviews of movies and television programs in the newspaper to discern that the world of entertainment is no friend to godliness.

In Psalm 119 the psalmist writes that God’s commandments make him wiser than his enemies, whereby he attributes a certain wisdom to the foe. Satan has 6000 years of experience in temptation. He constantly circles and probes us and our children, searching for weaknesses which he can exploit for his advantage. If one class of temptation does not work, Satan will search for one which will.

God’s constant law makes us wiser than the enemy. With His law before us lighting our way, the snares of Satan are exposed. Spiritual discretion will remind us of the real end of those who satisfy sinful desires. Forays into the realms of sin will deprive us of the fellowship of God’s friendship. We will feel His displeasure in our hearts. God’s law, as Polaris, is a faithful guide directing us to a way which is safe.

Our spiritual struggle with the world is hard enough, but we must keep in mind that we always have our sinful flesh with us. It is in our hearts where we find the real front of our spiritual warfare. The great battle does not rage merely "out there somewhere," but it rages within each of us. We might try to find places of refuge from the world’s godlessness, but we will never escape the fallen nature of our weak flesh while we are on the earth. We have a ceaseless struggle on our hands. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Col. 3:5) This is not easy. The old man of sin in us will not be driven from the battlefield easily. It is a life and death struggle involving desperate, brutal hand-to-hand combat.

We must follow the psalmist’s example and have God’s law "ever with" us. The way to do that is to have the law written on our hearts. Psalm 119:11 says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." This will not happen by accident. It will not happen without effort. It is not some birthright which is just handed to us. We must be diligent in our study of God’s Word.

If our Lord tarries, earth’s wobbling axis will cause the Pole Star to change and lose its honored position. Polaris would no longer be a faithful guide. God’s Word, however, never changes. His law will always be with us. May God use our diligent efforts in our schools so our children can sing in Psalter #333, "In its constant light I go, wise to conquer every foe." - Mr. Brian Dykstra, teacher at Hope Prot. Ref. Christian School